Policy and Compliance Updates for the State HR Community
Issue #8 
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Welcome to the 8th issue of the HRA Policy & Compliance Advisory Newsletter.  In this issue, you will find guidance on the I-9 and E-Verify processes, along with an invitation to attend an upcoming webinar, a Spotlight on Success that shares best practices in policy, a State Personnel Board Update, a Drug Testing Corner, and benefits updates.
 
If you have questions or would like additional information about the topics covered in this newsletter, please contact your HRA consultant, or any Policy & Compliance Team member, or any Benefits Team member.
 
Thank you
HRA Policy & Compliance Team

 
The employment eligibility verification process is a pertinent part of hiring a new employee.  It involves both the use of I-9 form and the E-Verify system.  In addition to ensuring you are complying with the laws requiring employment eligibility verification, it is important to apply consistent and non-discriminatory practices when verifying an employee’s eligibility to work in the United States.  In recent years the United States Department of Justice has focused on preventing unfair employment practices during the employment eligibility verification process. 

To learn more about how to apply fair practices in your employment eligibility verification process click on the questions and answers below.  

Q1: Why must my agency fill out the I-9 form? Answer

Q2: Which employees must my agency require to fill out the I-9 form and provide employment authorization verification documents? Answer

Q3: Must my agency complete an I-9 form for employees hired on or before November 6, 1986? Answer

Q4: Must my agency complete an I-9 Form for rehired retirees? Answer

Q5: If I know someone is a U.S. citizen, can I skip the I-9 process? Answer

Q6: Must my agency complete an I-9 form when an employee transfers from another agency without a break in service? Answer 

Q7: What documents should my agency accept for employment authorization verification? Answer

Q8: When is it acceptable to reject a document when examining it to verify identity and/or employment authorization? Answer

Q9: When should my agency fill out the I-9 form? Answer

Q10: My agency operates seven (7) days a week, but the Human Resources office is only open Monday through Friday.  By what day must the I-9 form be completed? Answer

Q11: What must my agency do with the I-9 form once it is completed? Answer

Q12: Where should my agency store the I-9 form? Answer

Q13: How long must my agency retain I-9 forms once the employee is terminated? Answer

Q14: What happens if my agency’s I-9 forms and documentation are destroyed in a natural or other disaster? Answer

Q15: Does my agency have to use E-Verify? Answer

Q16: I have seen other agencies use the E-Verify logo on agency websites.  How can my agency do the same? Answer

Q17: Is the time limit extended for completing employment authorization verification when using the E-Verify system? Answer

Q18: Should I refuse employment when an individual does not have a Social Security Number? Answer

Q19:  Must my agency tell prospective employees that we are using the E-Verify system? Answer
 

Policy & Compliance On-Site Training

Please join the Policy and Compliance team on Tuesday, August 25th from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., in room 512 of the West Tower to view a pre-recorded webinar titled, “I-9s for 2015: HR's Completion, Retention & Re-verification Rules.” This pre-recorded webinar covers current I-9 Form and E-Verify best practices including how to avoid mistakes, requirements for rehires, storing I-9 Forms, and avoiding citizenship-based discrimination claims.

 
Register Today!
We look forward to your participation in this onsite training. If you have questions, please contact Autumn Cole at autumn.cole@doas.ga.gov. 
What leading law enforcement agency shines as a model for HR policy management?  Click here to read about our featured agency.
 
We are pleased to announce benefits updates in the following areas:

State Personnel Board Rules Activity:

At the June 23, 2015 Board meeting, the State Personnel Board adopted modifications to Rule 478-1-.16, Absence from Work. The modifications added a new type of leave, Education Support Leave, which provides up to 8 hours of paid time off each year for full-time, non-temporary employees to participate in activities related to student achievement and academic support, effective July 1, 2015.  

The modifications have been approved by the Governor, and the Rule is posted on the DOAS and Secretary of State websites. Click here to view the newly modified Rule.

At the July 30, 2015 Board meeting, modifications to the following Rules were presented to the Board and released for public comment: 
  • 478-1-.23 Family and Medical Leave
  • 478-1-.19 Military Leave
 
The modification to Rule 23 incorporates federal updates to revise the definition of “spouse” under the Family and Medical Leave Act to include all legally married spouses.

The modification to Rule 19 removes a provision exempting service with the State Defense Force from the definition of ordered military duty. This change incorporates a legislative change to O.C.G.A. §38-2-54 which now allows the State Defense Force to receive paid military leave and continuous service considerations for ordered military duty.

Please visit the DOAS website to view the proposed Rule modifications. Suggestions are welcomed and should be sent to hrapolicy@doas.ga.gov by no later than August 30, 2015. Responses received during the public comment period and final modifications will be presented to the Board on September 8, 2015.
 
 

Who Can Be Drug Tested?
 
The State uses a drug testing program to support the Drug-Free Workplace. Authorized officials can direct a State employee in any position to take a drug test when there is reasonable suspicion that the employee is not free from drugs.  The State does not, however, send all employees for pre-employment and random testing. Some ask, “Why not?”
 
The answer lies in the U.S. Constitution which prohibits the government from conducting unreasonable searches and seizures. Federal, State, and case law has provided guidance to government on when drug testing is allowable and considered a “reasonable” search and seizure. See Georgia Association of Educators v. Harris, 749 F. Supp. 1110 (N.D. Ga. 1990) and a list of applicable laws and regulations located on the DOAS Substance Abuse Testing webpage, which can be accessed here.
 
In accordance with these laws, the state’s pre-employment and random drug testing programs are limited to positions involving high-risk or safety-sensitive work. Examples of positions that fall within one of these categories include, but are not limited to, Nurses, Correctional Officers, Pilots, and all transportation positions regulated by a Federal agency.
 
If your agency has positions that you believe should be subject to pre-employment and random drug testing, but are not, DOAS/HRA will review the positions’ duties with you to ensure they would meet the legal standard for a “reasonable” search/seizure. To start the process, please contact Gail Stowers at Gail.Stowers@doas.ga.gov. DOAS is responsible for approving any new additions to the program, other than transportation positions regulated by a Federal agency as these positions automatically qualify.
 
For additional information, please contact Gail Stowers at the above listed email or by telephone at 404-463-7060.
HRA Policy and Compliance Contacts
Katy Townsend
katy.townsend@doas.ga.gov 
404-657-2186
Gail Stowers
gail.stowers@doas.ga.gov
404-463-7060
Autumn Turner Cole
autumn.cole@doas.ga.gov
404-463-7057
Robbie Zell
robbie.zell@doas.ga.gov
404-657-8458
Jennifer Statham
jennifer.statham@doas.ga.gov
404-657-8345
HRA Benefits Contacts
Nicole Long
nicole.long@doas.ga.gov 
404-651-5049
Valerie Henderson
Valerie.henderson@doas.ga.gov 
404-657-5815
Patricia Applewhite
patricia.applewhite@doas.ga.gov 
404-463-3589
Latoya Wimbush
latoya.wimbush@doas.ga.gov 
404-651-6084
Copyright © 2015 DOAS Human Resources Administration Division*, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
200 Piedmont Avenue, Suite 502 West, Atlanta, Georgia 30334
www.doas.ga.gov
404-656-2705

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